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Posts Made By: Erik Lin

September 16, 2003 08:08 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Burgess Question

Posted By Erik Lin


I do not have direct experience with the Burgess 10X50 but I purchased a pair of 20X80 LWs about six month ago. My take on these low cost Chinese binos is they offer excellent value and very good optics for the price. However, their mechanical construction and quality control is not up to the standard higher cost models.

My 20X80 LW arrived in perfect collimation and had very impressive optics for the money. They were my most used astro binos fore several month. I also took them on a trip to VA in the spring for watching shore birds and astronomy. They have been treated with tender care and have not been subjected to temperature extremes. Nevertheless, I discovered they have lost collimation. The out of collimation conditon is slight and is difficult to detect in day time use but noticeable for astronomy beasue star image does not merge to a single point. A second pair of 20X80 LWs I ordered for a friend overseas did not have sufficient right diopter adjustment for my eyes.

I would consider something more rugged if you want a a pair of 10X50s for the long run. The Pentax PCF series have received very good reviews. I have seen the Pentax 10X50 PCF WP model for as low as $130 with a $30 rebate till Jan 2004. They will make great all around binoculars as well.

Erik D

September 22, 2003 08:50 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

New to astrobinoculars--need advise w/ problem.

Posted By Erik Lin


Double star image in binoculars sounds more like a problem with collimation of you old Belmont to me. Especially if you don't have to wear glasses to correct for astigmatism when using your telescope. One way to verify this is to cap one objective of your binocular and see if the double image goes away. If you see a single image with either eye but double with both then collimation is the problem.

Our eyes are definetly more senstive to out of collimation condtions with a single point light source at night. I purchased a pair of Burgess 20X80 LW binos six month ago. They arrived perfectly collimated. They still work fine for me in daytime viewing but I can tell they are just a hair out of collimation when viewing stars. Our eys can merge images easier in daytime terrestrial viewing.

Erik D

September 26, 2003 02:51 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

15 x 70 Orion vs Oberwerk /Barska?

Posted By Erik Lin


Among the three mentioned above I would go with the Oberwerk 15X70. These binos may look very similar on the outside but Oberwerks usually have more consistent QC and better full multi-coating. Ed Z on has post reviews of the current production Oberwerk 15X70 and can confirm this. I think it's worth paying the extra $50 for the Oberwerk vs. Burgess.

I don't have the Oberwerk 15X70 myself but I have the 12X60 and Orion 20X80 models. I like the Oberwerk a lot. Good edge sharpness and eye relief. The Orions have better mechanical construction and and a longer 5 year warranty but I don't feel they have better optics. I think the eye relief of the Orion 15X70 is much shorter too. In my experience the Oberwerk is the best value among the Chinese binoculars. You will have to spend a lot more for the Fujinon 16X70 to better the Oberwerk. There is a review of 70/80mm giant binos in the April 2003 issue of Astronomy. Burgess binos can be quite good optically(I have the 20X80 LW) but the QC seems be a bit less consistent from one sample to the next.

ERik D

October 3, 2003 03:46 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Binocular Repair/Cleaning

Posted By Erik Lin

I have seen postings by a Cory Suddarth of Suddarth Optical Repair on the Yahoo BinoAstronomy group. Mr. Suddarth used to be in charge of binocualr reparis at Orion. Before that he did optical maintainance and repair for the US Navy. You can find him by doing a Google serach or look him up in the Yahoo binocularAstronomy group archiev. He goes by "Binofixer" on that forum.

Erik D

October 3, 2003 04:30 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Meade 9x63 Astronomical Binocular

Posted By Erik Lin


I do not have first hand experience with the Meade 9X63 so I did a quick review of specs on a retailer's web site. The dimensions are listed as 12 in long and 44 oz which is rather large for a 9X63 bino. In comparsion my Oberwerk 12X60 measures under 9 inchs and the Orion 9X63 is 8.125 inch long.

It is generally agreed that higher power will show more detail and 5mm exit pupil will give you a darker background sky if there is any light pollution. The Oberwerk 12X60 has 5.7 deg FOV and pretty good edge sharpness. I find it quite comfortable to hand hold. They are a good pair to take along when I am traveling and don't want to pack my Burgess 20X80 LW and a tripod. I have had the Oberwerk 12X60 for about a year and have not detected any problem with collimation.

ERik D

October 4, 2003 09:06 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Any ideas for mounting a 6" F8 refractor?

Posted By Erik Lin


I think the lowest cost EQ mount for a 6"F8 is the Orion Atlas Heavy Duty mount. It's rated for up to 40 lb load and comes with dual axis drives and polar scope. I saw a AP 6"F9 Starfire on this mount at the NEAF show this year. You will need a nice adjustable height observing chair to use with your refractor.

The Orion Atlas mount comes with two 11 lb counter wt and Dovetail bar. All you need to add is the mounting rings. The Losmandy G11 seems to be the standard for this size scope but the price is more than twice of the Atlas. Parallex is a good source for tube rings if you need them.

If you want to give Alt az mounts a try. The Giro-2 DX can handle your OTA. My 6"F8 AP OTA is about the same weight as your scope and works fine on the Giro DX up to 300X. However, total cost of my mount with tripod, rings, dovetail plates and counter weights was more than twice the price of the Atlas.

Erik D

October 5, 2003 04:10 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Oberwerk 20x80 light weight binocs

Posted By Erik Lin


I have had my Burgess 20X80 LW since Feb of 2003. I believe the Oberwerk LW is made in the same factory but perhaps with better broadband multi-coating. Mounted on the Bogen 3221 tripod with a 501 head the 20X80 LWs were my most used astro binos during the past six month.(I also have Oberwerk 12X60, Orion 20X80 and ProOptics 25X100) Edge sharpness and useabel field is much better than my Orion 20X80 which weight 40% more and cost twice as much. It does show some purple/green fringe if I am viewing objects in daylight with high contrast. I still prefer them over 20-30X spotting scopes for observing shore birds, high flying black/turkey vultures, aircraft and hot air ballons. At 3.5 lbs I can use them for short periods if I am seated with my elbow supported.

The mechanical construction of these Chinese Giants are less rugged than the ones made is Japan. QC is also less consistent. Do check them over carefully for collimation and flaring and use them often. Some of the high power Burgess/Oberwerks I looked thru have limited right diopter adjustment. Oberwerk has excellent customer service & will replace yours with no questions asked if you have a problem during the warranty period.

Erik D

October 7, 2003 03:08 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Problems w/ new 20x80 Skymaster binos

Posted By Erik Lin


Personally I would not accept the Celestron binos the way they are. I have 20X80 and 25X100 binos from Burgess, Orion and ProOptics and this has not happen to me. My astro binos do collect dew on the OUTSIDE but I would be alarmed if they start collecting on the inside. Floyed's cure may work for you but why should you have to do that with a brand new pair when there are many others available in the same price range? I would return them to Adorama and request a refund.

Consider the Oberwerk 20X80 STANDARD model if you don't want the bulk of the deluxe. The Oberwerk 80mm standard model has the same optics at half the weight. The 20X80 LW is even lighter at 3.6 lbs. There is a detailed review of the Oberwerk 80mm LW on CN. You'll get first class customer support from Kevin B if ever have a problem with your Obwerwerks. I usually get a reply to my email within a few hours. He will pay for return freight too if you need warrenty exchange.

Erik D

October 15, 2003 06:15 AM Forum: Astro-Physics

Modify an AP 6" Superplanetary?

Posted By Erik Lin


I have a 6"F8 AP Triplet from the same era(1988-89). It's also in 'like new' condtion because the OTA was kept in my closet for 14 years waiting for a Alt-Az mount/tripod combo. Finally purchased the GR-2 DX mount after I was able to find a used Quick Set Hercules Tripod for a reasonable price. I love this combo because of the ease of set up. The 18" adjustable center column of the tripod works great. I agree that the focuser needs improvment. However, I would very hesitant if a focuser upgrade requires cutting of the orginal tube. The F12 is a rare model and I would want to keep it that way. I would differently the scope has heen modified before.

Erik D

October 23, 2003 12:41 PM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Oberwerk 22x100

Posted By Erik Lin


I purchased 3 pairs of 80mm and larger binos during the past two years. If I were to select one among the current crop of 22/25X100mm Chinese binos I would go with the Oberwerk. You will pay up to $100 more compared to similar offerings from Apogee, Burgess or Celestron but there are some features I like about the Oberwerk:

1. The Oberwerk 22X 100 has center foucus vs. IF on other models. 2. The Oberwerk also has a brace connecting two objectives. IMO this is very important on binos with such long and heavy objective barrels. In general, Oberwerk also has more consistent quality control and better multi-coating.

IPD range of the Oberwerk 22X100 is listed as 58-73mm. Kevin B at Oberwerk is supposely inspect each pair and checks collimation prior to shipping. Collimation adjustment screws are readily accessible on this model.

My friend loaned me his Oberwerk 22X100 for a week last month. I posted my brief impressions on this forumn. You can find addtional comments on page 3(19 Sep 03). You can also consider the new 20X90 model if you like rubber aromor on your bino( I do)

I feel the Oberwer 22X100 offers the best value in 100mm binos today. You'll have to spend a lot more than $1k to match it's performance.(I did) I would spend the $400 and invest the savings on a nice mount/tripod.

Erik D